When my mind is so inwardly focused like this, I end up forgetting and not being totally mindful of the busyness of all the lives of people around me. Whether it’s the parents of kids that I have in my youth group or the high schoolers that I work with, everyone is absolutely so so BUSY. Between school, work, practices, sports, appointments, etc., there is sometimes no space in our lives to think about anything else. We just end up living and breathing the plans and details, right? Like I said before, planning isn’t a bad thing, but if it isn’t balanced by an overall bigger perspective or direction for our life, then what does it do for us? If we don’t have that balance then usually, from what I have perceived from the kids I work with, I think it just creates anxiety. When we don’t know who we are or what direction we are meant to go then planning is kind of pointless right?
The readings for this weekend give us a clear direction for our planning. “Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” We are made to be lights to the world! We are made to draw people into Christ and glorify the Father just by being that light! The mission of all of our youth ministry is to help kids realize the light that God has made them into and then take that light to the dark parts of the world. Most of our retreats are built around building the kids up as lights to the world, but especially our Spring Break trip coming up is one where some of our youth will actually get to go be a light in a place that really needs it, which happens to be in Appalachia.
The people in the Appalachian mountains have had the darkness of poverty around them for a long time, and this year I am very excited that MHT and St. Mary’s will be able to partner with Christian Appalachian Project. This organization will put us to work in different impoverished areas of Kentucky that need home repairs. We will get to know the families we are working for and give them our light of help and hope. Like I said before, it’s really easy to get caught up in our own lives/planning, but it’s in the core of our identity to be able to bring God to people. Now, not all of us can take time off and dedicate a whole week to helping others but I’m hoping some of you will be willing to help our young people be a light with the work we do.
If there is anyone who has been feeling personally called to help those in poverty, please reach out to me through email, or if you have been feeling more called to financially help the youth or those in poverty then please consider partnering with us on this mission!